French first lady Carla Bruni responded to a personal letter from Sara Netanyahu on the subject of captive soldier Gilad Schalit with a note of her own on Thursday.
Sara Netanyahu recently took advantage of a recent state visit to France to pass French President Nicolas Sarkozy's wife Carla a personal note imploring France's aid in releasing the captive soldier, noting that Schalit holds both French and Israeli citizenship.
Bruni said in her response, passed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu by French Foreign Ministry Alain Marie Juppe, that France was sparing no effort in its attempts to mediate the release of Gilad Schalit.
"Like you, I wish with all my heart that this episode will be over soon," Bruni wrote.
In her own note Sara Netanyahu reached out to Bruni not just as a fellow political figure, but also as a fellow woman.
“I write to you not only as the wife of a prime minister to the wife of a president, but also as a mother to a mother. I hope that you can find some way to help Israel in its efforts to free our kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit,” Sara Netanyahu had written.
“As you know, Gilad Schalit, who is both an Israeli and French citizen, has been held hostage for the last five years by Hamas, which has even denied the Red Cross access to him. Gilad has suffered terribly, as has his loving family.”
Also on Thursday Juppe joined the Schalit family at their their protest tent in Jerusalem.
"The fact that Gilad is still sitting in captivity is not acceptable," Juppe told reporters following the meeting. "We are doing everything we can to bring about his release."
Noam Schalit, however, took a level tone. "We have not received news from France," he said after the meeting concluded. "We asked them to act on several levels, which is nothing new. We have only one goal - bring Gilad back home."
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, however, told Juppe during their meeting on Thursday Israel could not afford to negotiate for Gilad Schalit's release as the price - releasing terrorists with blood on their hands who would return to plotting terror attacks on Israeli civilians - was simply too high.